THE PASSOVER IN THE CONFEDERACY MAY 2014 A FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION OF SOUTHERN MEN

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1 THE MAY 2014 LEGIONARY A Publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton Camp No. 273 Columbia, South Carolina Charles Bray, Acting Editor A FRATERNAL ORGANIZATION OF SOUTHERN MEN The following article appeared in the Opinion section of the New York Times April 17, As we continuously look at our Southern history it is important that we remember the important part played by Jewish citizens who found a tolerant home in the South and who fought and supported the Confederacy. PASSOVER IN THE CONFEDERACY SUE EISENFIELD For at least one night each spring during the Civil War, in places like Louisiana and South Carolina and Georgia and Virginia, Confederate Jews commemorated how God freed the children of Israel from slavery. They retold the story of when God is said to have sent down 10 plagues to help free the Hebrews from their bondage, the last of which was the slaying of all Egyptians firstborn children, and how the Jews marked their door posts with the blood of a slaughtered lamb so the Angel of Death would know to pass over them. Thus, they celebrated their liberation more than 3,000 years ago from slavery in ancient Egypt, and their exodus. Some of those commemorating Passover may have gathered with their families around a dinner table partaking in a Seder possibly served by slaves. Many others were on the battlefield, holding impromptu Seders or simply noting the special night for a moment in their minds as they focused on fighting for their home states Southern slave states. For many American Jews today, particularly those descended from immigrants coming through Northeast corridors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the idea that Confederate Jews fought on the side of slavery offends their entire worldview, rooted so deeply in social justice. Even the idea of there being so many Jews in the American South, decades before Ellis Island opened its gates, is a strange idea. But just as Robert E. Lee, an Army officer for 32 years, sided with his home state of Virginia against the federal government, many Jews found a homeland in Dixie over the centuries and decided they could not take up arms against it. To them, after all they d suffered and fled throughout the ages, the South was their new motherland, the land of milk and honey (and cotton), and it was worth fighting for. This land has been good to all of us, one Jewish-German Southerner wrote. I shall fight to my last breath. Hailing first from Spain and Portugal as early as 1695, then later from England, Germany and the Caribbean islands, and even later from Poland, Hungary and Russia, one-fifth of all United States Jews settled in the South before the 20th century. In 1800, Charleston, S.C. whose 1790 state constitution guaranteed freedom of religion was home to the largest Jewish community in America; by 1861, a third of all Jews in the South resided in Louisiana. These Jews arrived fleeing tyrannical governments and centuries of expulsion, massacres and all manner of restrictions on personal liberty. Coming to America and finding Dixie where they were respected as citizens and allowed to vote, own property and live as they chose was a blessing. They set up as peddlers and shop owners, artisans and innkeepers, shoemakers and tailors, salesmen and farmers. Some became businessmen and bankers, lawyers and physicians. Others became politicians, some quite prominent. At the start of the war, Judah P. Benjamin was one of Louisiana s senators, and the second senator of Jewish descent in American history (after David Yulee of Florida); he became the Confederacy s attorney general and chief of espionage operations, and later secretary of war and secretary of state. In the waning days of the Confederacy, he argued for freeing the slaves to enlist them to fight for the South. Benjamin s cousin, Henry M. Hyams, served as Louisiana s lieutenant governor during the war. After the war Benjamin Franklin Jonas, a former Confederate soldier, became the third Jew in the Senate. Jews left their mark on the South in other ways. A Jew named Manasseh was a popular innkeeper in the 1700s in Virginia, and he is believed to have been immortalized in the name of his location, Manasseh s Gap known now as simply the famous Manassas, the site of the first major battle of the war. Moses Ezekiel, a Richmond-born Jew and highly decorated Confederate soldier, later became the world-renowned sculptor who crafted the ornate Confederate Monument that graces Jackson Circle at Arlington National Cemetery. He is buried there, among his fellow rebels, under the inscription in simple obedience to duty as they understood it. In all, approximately 3,000 first-, second- and third-generation American Jews fought for the Confederacy. (About 7,000 fought for the Union.) While the South, like everywhere else, did exhibit anti-semitism, many Southern Jews felt the Page 1 of 6

2 North was more deeply anti-semitic. Popular Northern newspapers denigrated Jews; Harper s Weekly said that all Jews were secessionists, copperheads and rebels. Other papers blamed the Jews for destroying the national credit. Union general Ulysses S. Grant exhibited the greatest bigotry of all when he issued General Orders No. 11 in December 1862, the most sweeping anti-jewish regulation in all of American history, according to Rabbi Bertram W. Korn. The orders called for the expulsion of all Jews within 24 hours from Grant s territory at the time, which included parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Grant and his men believed Jews were solely responsible for the common practice of illegal trade with the enemy a forbidden but economically necessary practice. Some Jews did engage in such illicit commerce, but so did a lot of people on both sides. To add to the offensiveness of the order, Union soldiers forced Jews from their homes, confiscated their possessions, denied them rail transportation even as they were being evicted from their towns, revoked trade licenses and imprisoned them. A few weeks later, when Lincoln found out about the order, he revoked it I do not like to hear a class or nationality condemned on account of a few sinners, he said. In the South, Jews lived as everyone lived, and many Southern Jews accepted alongside their co-regionalists the institution of slavery. Jews in America are very much a part of the American political landscape of their time; they re not necessarily different, says Lance J. Sussman, the senior rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, Pa., and a visiting professor of American Jewish history at Princeton. They are often chameleon-like. Southern Jews and many Northern Jews had no issue with slavery. That said, Jewish opinions on slavery were not exclusively regional. New York s Morris Raphall, the leading American rabbi of the period, shocked many Jews and non-jews by defending slavery on biblical grounds, saying in 1861 that slavery has existed since earliest times, that slaveholding is no sin, that slave property is expressly placed under the protection of the Ten Commandments and that the reason Africans were slaves in America was because that s what God wanted for them. In contrast, Rabbi David Einhorn of Baltimore in the slave state of Maryland argued against every one of Raphall s biblical claims. (His congregants did not agree, and he was forced to flee to Philadelphia.) And like many Southerners, Confederate Jews who joined the rebel army did so for a number of reasons. Most Jewish Johnny Rebs, like their fellow countrymen, believed they were fighting for their own liberty and in defense of their homes, wrote Robert Rosen in his book The Jewish Confederates. At the same time, a strong element in the decision to fight for the Confederacy was simply that everyone else around them was doing it. Records show that 75 to 85 percent of all young white males in the South served in the military. Still, the idea of Jews fighting or rooting for the South is bewildering to many Jews today, especially those descended from Russian Socialists who came to America with ideas of class and economic equality and who identified with blacks and other excluded groups. According to Rabbi Sussman, the Civil War was the turning point for Jews in coming to see that slavery was wrong and based in racism, and the experience put the modern American Jew on a path of advocating for and supporting civil rights and empowerment for all people. For thousands of years of history, nobody believed that valuing a human being as a commodity was inherently wrong, he said. The Passover narrative, he adds, didn t become an abolitionist-related story until after World War II and the Civil Rights era. Originally, Passover was theological. It s about redemption and the power of God. It s not really about setting human beings free in a universal way. The text says that God frees the Hebrew slaves because God loves the Hebrews. God doesn t free all slaves for all of humanity or send Moses out to become the William Lloyd Garrison of the ancient free world. In viewing the past from the mind-set of the present, I couldn t help wondering whether some Jewish Johnny Rebs believed another Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement was their redemption for fighting on the wrong side of history. On Yom Kippur, Jews typically spend the day fasting, engaged in prayer, asking God and fellow man for forgiveness for wrongs they committed against them. But I m probably wrong. According to Rabbi Sussman, the Jewish Confederates felt they had nothing to atone for. In terms of the hierarchy of values in the modern world, antebellum southern Jews prioritized their beliefs the way everyone else around them did and rallied to their flag. On Aug. 23, 1861, Rabbi Max Michelbacher of Richmond, Va., who wrote a Prayer for the Confederacy, which was distributed to all Jewish Confederate soldiers, asked General Lee to grant a furlough for the Jewish soldiers to attend synagogue for the High Holy Days. Because of the exigencies of war, Lee declined, but his response to Michelbacher eloquently illustrates the way that ecumenical regionalism overshadowed any sense of religious difference between the two men: I feel assured that neither you or any member of the Jewish congregation would wish to jeopardize a cause you have so much at heart. In closing, he added: That your prayers for the success & welfare of our Cause may be granted by the Great Ruler of the universe is my ardent wish. The CHARGE To you, SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS, we submit the VINDICATION of the cause for which we fought; to your strength will be given the DEFENSE of the Confederate soldier's good name, the GUARDIANSHIP of his history, the EMULATION of his virtues, the PERPETUATION of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the TRUE HISTORY of the South is PRESENTED TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. Lt. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee, Commander General United Confederate Veterans, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1906 Page 2 of 6

3 CHAPLAINS WITNESS WALTER LINDLER REMEMBERING OUR MOTHERS M-O-T-H-E-R "M" is for the million things she gave me, "O" means only that she's growing old, "T" is for the tears she shed to save me, "H" is for her heart of purest gold, "E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining, "R" means right, and right she'll always be, Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER," A word that means the world to me. They gave us birth and cared for us over the years, they taught us to say our first words to care for ourselves to laugh and to smile. They taught us to talk, read and spell. They taught us right from wrong They taught was to say our prayers and blessings, They taught us who Our Lord and Savior was and what He did for us.he died on the cross so we would have eternal life. They made sure that we were always dressed to the nine sand they always wanted a better life for us than they had when they were growing up. They cared for us when we were sick and assured us we would soon feel better. Mother you are gone from us now, but your memories live on and we are so grateful that you were the one chosen by God to be our mother. God in Heaven we give you thanks for our mothers and not only on Mothers Day but every day of our lives, we give thanks. Thanks for your unending and unconditional Love. Chaplains Prayer List Please remember our camp compatriots and their family members who are having health problems or have lost a loved one in your prayers. Bill and Anita Calliham Jesse Folk Rusty James nephew of Scott James Bill Smyth s wife Ann who home following a lengthy illness Robert Spigner COMMANDERS CORNER TERRY HUGHEY Our Camp has experienced its busy period of the year. One almost had the feeling we were experiencing our ancestors feelings of the same period 150 years ago; as soon as one campaign is concluded (Battle of the Wilderness) you must march forward to the next event (Battle of Spotsylvania Court House). Words cannot describe my gratefulness to my fellow Camp compatriots. I will not even attempt to mention everyone who contributed so very much of their time. I would embarrass myself if I attempted to name everyone, as I am sure I would overlook a fellow compatriot. However, a special thank all that participated in Education Day, we could not have done it without your help. I was truly moved at the Wade Hampton Memorial Service at Trinity Episcopal Church. The service conducted, in the Chapel, the speech given by Dr. Terry Rude, the grave side placement of flowers and the signing of Dixie, and then at the Wade Hampton Monument was well organize, well attended and truly represented our Camp and the virtues we strive to emulate. Our Camp worked tirelessly at Culler s Farm to prepare for our success for Education Day on May 2 with over 650+ students attending where they were greeted by a total of 18 presenters. The Reading of the Roll on the State House Steps was another involvement by our Camp who assisted the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Ceremonies conducted by the UDC at Elmwood were well attended by fellow Camp members who heard one of the most stirring speeches given by a true southern lady, Mrs. Betty Jane Miller. Ceremonies at Elmwood were followed by a parade and then to ceremonial conclusion at the State House. Again, a marvelous sight. The magnificently beautiful wreath our Camp placed at the Monument for those who served from First Presbyterian Church and the placement of flags within the Churches cemetery was placed on May 9. Then on the Confederate Memorial Day our Camp compatriots stood guard at the Confederate Soldier s Monument as our flags stood tall and proud. Page 3 of 6

4 LT. GEN. WADE HAMPTON MEMORIAL SERVICE APRIL 26, 2014 On Saturday, April 26, the Wade Hampton Camp held its annual memorial service for Wade Hampton, for whom our camp is named. Dr. Terry L. Rude was the speaker and he gave an excellent talk about Wade Hampton. Once again our music was provided by the Amick Junction Band and once again their music was beautiful. Following Dr. Rude s talk we were led to Wade Hampton s grave by re-enactors and bagpipers where flowers were placed on Wade Hampton s grave, chaplain Lindler said a prayer followed by the singing of Amazing Grace. From Trinity Cathedral graveyard we walked to the State House grounds where re-enactors fired a mortar salute followed by Chaplain Lindler offering a prayer at the Wade Hampton statue, following the prayer the ceremony ended. We were blessed with near perfect weather and a beautiful blue South Carolina sky. The only blemish on the day was the small number that participated in this wonderful celebration. BATTLE FOR COLUMBIA EDUCATION DAY MAY 2, 2014 It is hard to believe that we have completed our eleventh school day event. This is the first time that we have not followed Education Day with the Battle for Columbia re-enactment which we had to cancel because so many re-enactors were committed to Sesqui Centennial events outside of South Carolina, hopefully in 2015 we will be able to resume with the battle. Personally, I feel Education Day is the most important thing we do in sharing our history with school children. This year s event was excellent and we had 650+ youngsters attend. Some homeschoolers came from Charleston and Rock Hill. We had 18 presenters for the event and I personally feel this year s group of presenters was perhaps the best we have had to date. One of the new presenters was D. C. Locke who portrayed an Indian brave and D. C. spoke about the part Indians played in support of the Confederacy. Since my first school day I have looked forward to working with the teachers, parents and, of course, the young people that I help lead through the many venues where the presenters share their knowledge of this period in our country s history. FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CEMETERY DECORATION MAY 9, 2014 As in years past we gathered at First Presbyterian Church on May 9, at 4:00PM to place Confederate flags on confederate soldiers graves and a wreath at the Confederate Monument located adjacent to Jackson Hall in the churchyard. The Confederate Column was sold to the women of the church by the state D.A. R., this broken column from the great north portico of the State House under construction in 1865 lists the names of 86 Confederate veterans from the congregation, 24 of whom were killed in the war. We placed a flag on the grave of Mrs. Catharine McFie, who at the age of 51 was one of the first women to respond to hospital calls for nurses on Virginia battlefields; after the war she was the first President of the Ladies Memorial Association, laying out the Confederate Plat in Elmwood Cemetery and serving in Columbia s Wayside Hospital for Confederate soldiers. We felt that even though Mrs. McFie did not fight for the Confederacy what she and women like her did in providing care for our wounded and sick is deserving of our continued recognition for her service to our cause. Thanks to Bob Slimp, Terry Hughey, Marion Hutson, Harriet Smoak who is a UDC member and Susan Bray for their help in placing the wreath and flags. Special thanks go to Harriett for having the foresight to bring a hammer and screwdriver without which we would have not been able to stick the flags in the ground which, due to a lack of rain, was hard as a rock. CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY MAY 10, 2014 The Wade Hampton Camp observed the official South Carolina Confederate Memorial Day by standing vigil at the Confederate Soldier monument in front of the State House. This year we began the vigil at 7:00AM and ended it at 5:00PM. As in years past we had the opportunity to speak to many people who were in Columbia for their children s graduation from the University of South Carolina. One group that found our vigil of great interest was a tour bus of Germans who were vacationing in this country. Everyone that we spoke with was very positive regarding our heritage and what we were doing. I want to thank Ben Boyd, Bill Hollingsworth, Don Gordon, Rusty Rentz, Jim Harley, Jim Hatchell, Layne Waters, Marion Hutson and Susan Bray for participating in the observance. Page 4 of 6

5 Mary Amarinthia Yates Snowden SEPTEMBER 10, 1819 FEBRUARY 23, 1898 She was born on September 10, 1819 in Charleston, SC to Joseph and Elizabeth Ann Saylor Yates. When she was 18 months old, her father died, and she, her sister, and two brothers, where raised by their strong and financially secure mother. She married Dr. William Snowden in 1857, and they had a son and a daughter. Her husband was killed during the Civil War and she was left a widow at a young age. She supported the Confederate troops by helping to clothe and feed them, and to care of the wounded and dying. After the Battle of Secessionville, the Confederate dead were buried in a section of Magnolia Cemetery. To take care of the Confederate dead, she organized the Ladies' Memorial Association in Mrs. Snowden and the ladies of the Memorial Association held the first Confederate Memorial Day in Charleston, just one year after the end of the war. She visited many other battlefields and arranged for the removal of the dead. The remains of 84 South Carolina men killed at Gettysburg were reinterred at Magnolia Cemetery, Plans were made for headstones, with the South Carolina Legislature giving $1, towards the stones and promised a quantity of granite and marble then lying in Columbia. Before the Ladies' Memorial Association could get the stone to Charleston, the government changed hands into the Reconstruction occupation government. She went to Columbia and came home with enough material to cut more than eight hundred headstones. A granite monument was completed in 1872 and a bronze Confederate soldier was placed on top in She died in 1898, and many Confederate veterans walked in the procession for her funeral held at the Huguenot Church." Memorial Day It s Origin Mrs. George T. Fry, Chattanooga, TN. It is a matter of history that Mrs. (Chas. J. Williams) of Columbus, Ga., instituted the beautiful custom of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers, a custom which has been adopted throughout the United States. Mrs. Williams was the daughter of Maj. John Howard, of Milledgeville, Ga., and was a superior woman. She married Maj. C. J. Williams on his return from the Mexican War. As Colonel of the First Georgia Regulars, of the army in Virginia, he contracted disease, from which he died in 1862, and was buried in Columbus, GA. Mrs. Williams and her little girl visited his grave every day, and often comforted themselves by wreathing it with flowers. While the mother sat abstractedly thinking of the loved and lost one, the little one would pluck the weeds from the unmarked soldiers graves near her father's and cover them with flowers, calling them her soldiers' graves. After a short while the dear little girl was summoned by the angels to join her father. The sorely bereaved mother then took charge of these unknown graves for the child's sake, and as she cared for them thought of the thousands of patriot graves throughout the South, far away from home and kindred, and in this way the plan was suggested to her of setting apart one day in each year, that love might pay tribute to valor throughout the Southern States. In March 1866, she addressed a communication to the Columbus Times, an extract of which I give: "We beg the assistance of the press and the ladies throughout the South to aid us in the effort to set apart a certain day to be observed from the Potomac to tie Rio Grande, and to be handed down through time as a religious custom of the South, to wreathe the graves of our martyred dead with flowers, and we propose the 26th day of April as the day." She then wrote to the Soldiers' Aid Societies in every Southern State, and they readily responded and reorganized under the name of Memorial Associations. She lived long enough to see her plan adopted all over the South, and in 1868 throughout the United States. Mrs. Williams died April 15, 1874, and was buried with military honors. On each returning Memorial Day the Columbus military march around her grave, and each deposit a floral offering. The Legislature of Georgia, in 1866, set apart the 26th day of April as a legal holiday in obedience to her request, would that every Southern State observed the same day. RECRUIT A NEW MEMBER. Contact Scott James / (803) / Page 5 of 6

6 Important Dates in Lincoln s War to Prevent Southern Independence May 3, 1861 May 13, 1861 July 13, 1861 Jan 30, 1862 Mar. 13, 1862 Feb. 26, 1863 Mar. 6, 1863 Feb. 17, 1864 May 29, 1865 President Lincoln calls for 42,000 three year army volunteers and 18,000 sailors and also expands the regular army to 22,714 men. Martial law is declared in Baltimore. On this same day via an official proclamation by Queen Victoria, Britain declares its intention to remain neutral in the American civil conflict. Robert S. Garnett becomes the first general killed in the Civil War when his Confederate forces are defeated by Union troops a Corrick s Ford in western Virginia. The ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, looking to some like a cheese box on a raft, is launched before a large crowd at Greenpoint, Long Island, New York. A new U.S. article of war forbids army officers, under penalty of court martial, to return fugitive slaves to their masters. The Cherokee Indian National Council repeals its ordinance of secession, abolishes slavery, and proclaims itself for the Union. A mob of white men rampages through the black section of Detroit, destroying thirty-two houses, killing several black people, and leaving more than 200 homeless. A number of anti black demonstration occur in the North in 1863, fueled by job worries and inflammatory statements made by some leader of the Democratic Party. Confederate Congress expands the draft to now cover white men between the ages of seventeen and fifty. President Johnson grants general amnesty and pardon (with a few exceptions) to all persons involved in the existing rebellion. March Camp Meeting THURSDAY, MAY 22ND 6 O CLOCK P.M. SEAWELL S RESTAURANT 1125 Rosewood Drive Columbia, SC SPEAKER Ms. Susan Hathaway Update on the Museum of the Confederacy. Page 6 of 6